THE SOUL'S PRAYER
by: Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949)
- N childhoods
pride I said to Thee:
- O Thou, who madst me of Thy breath,
- Speak, Master, and reveal to me
- Thine inmost laws of life and death.
- Give me to drink each joy and pain
- Which Thine eternal hand can mete,
- For my insatiate soul would drain
- Earths utmost bitter, utmost sweet.
- Spare me no bliss, no pang of strife,
- Withhold no gift or grief I crave,
- The intricate lore of love and life
- And mystic knowledge of the grave.
- Lord, Thou didst answer stern and low:
- Child, I will hearken to thy prayer,
- And thy unconquered soul shall know
- All passionate rapture and despair.
- Thou shalt drink deep of joy and fame,
- And love shall burn thee like a fire,
- And pain shall cleanse thee like a flame,
- To purge the dross from thy desire.
- So shall thy chastened spirit yearn
- To seek from its blind prayer release,
- And spent and pardoned, sue to learn
- The simple secret of My peace.
- I, bending from my sevenfold height,
- Will teach thee of My quickening grace,
- Life is a prism of My light,
- And Death the shadow of My face.
POEMS BY SAROJINI NAIDU
"The Soul's Prayer" is
reprinted from The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse.
Ed. Nicholson & Lee. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1917.